It’s turning out to be the Summer of Greta Thunberg. Not only did the Nobel Peace Prize nominee address French lawmakers in July, quoting the latest report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but her book No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, came out in June. If that’s not enough proof of the Summer of Greta, yesterday it was announced that she will receive the first-ever Game Changer Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2019.
Greta, who is only 16, began a worldwide movement to take action against climate change. Her school strike, which she started last summer, has since inspired 1.4 million people to join protests and demonstrations around the world.
“The Game Changer Award was created for Greta Thunberg," says British GQ editor in chief Dylan Jones. "Her fearless dedication to raising awareness of the global climate change crisis makes her the absolute embodiment of this award, and on behalf of GQ we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate her at the upcoming GQ Men of the Year Awards.”
In the image attached to the announcement, Greta stands assertively, pointing into the camera. Her pose reminds us a bit of Taylor Swift’s September Vogue cover, released last week. But if Taylor’s cover had a hint of a come-hither seduction, Greta is the opposite: Standing tall, she points at the viewer (us) as if to ask, "What are YOU doing to stop climate change?"
Her mature outfit echoes the sentiment of her stance. Greta wears a white button-down with an oversize blazer featuring the words “CAN YOU HEAR ME?” scrawled across the front in white painted letters. It feels like the second part of the question ought to be “ARE WE LISTENING?” (We really ought to be.) Greta’s look is dressier and more serious than the usual zip-up hoodie that has become her signature style, and she still keeps it young with a beaded bracelet on her right wrist. The dapper menswear-inspired fit feels appropriate given that the cover coincides with the annual GQ menswear awards ceremony. Perhaps the oversize blazer is a symbol that Greta is doing the work that adults should be but are failing to do.
The fashion statement also appears to be the direct antithesis of Melania Trump’s “I really don’t care, do you?” jacket that she wore while visiting a migrant child-detention center in June 2018. In the GQ interview, Greta discusses Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. “I don’t think I would say anything to him, because he’s obviously not listening to the science and the scientists and the experts,” Greta said. “So what could I say to change his mind? I would say that we need a movement to do this together, because one person can’t change his mind. ‘We need to do that together,’” she continued.
Of receiving the GQ Game Changer award, Greta said, "I am very grateful and this award is for everyone in the Fridays for Future movement, everyone whose school is striking for the climate. We all deserve this award because together we have accomplished so much. So thank you to everyone who has been school striking as well.”
GQ clearly made the right choice awarding Greta the debut Game Changer Award. Now it’s up to us to answer Greta’s question: Can we hear her?
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue